Espen J. Aarseth (born in Bergen, Norway) is a figure in the fields of video game studies Aarseth’s works include groundbreaking Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature (Johns Hopkins UP ) book, which was originally his. Cybertext is the organization of text in order to analyze the influence of the medium as an integral part of the literary dynamic, as defined by Espen Aarseth in. Aarseth, Espen J. () Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature. The Johns Hopkins University Press. Page 2. Page 3. Page 4. Page 5. Page 6. Page 7.

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Espen Aarseth

Secondly, the framing of any new textual media as radically different from old forms and an objective, autonomous catalyst for social change and political or intellectual liberation. Though first used by science fiction poet Bruce Bostonthe term cybertext was brought to the literary world’s attention by Espen Aarseth in You watch as something unfolds before you, “a crumbling mania”, you must be able to go with the flow, to read texts upside down, to piece together a reflection of words, to be okay with texts half read disappearing or moving so far away so continuously that you can not make out those very important words.

Perspectives on Ergodic Literature. An example of a cybertext is 12 Blue by Michael Joyce.

The sense of play and gaming has been a recurring theme in the course. It is an unruly text, the words don’t listen, you are not supreme. Join our email listserv and receive monthly updates on the latest titles.

File:Aarseth Espen J Cybertext Perspectives on Ergodic – Monoskop

Views Read Edit View history. Aarseth’s brilliant observations remind me of McLuhan’s ‘probes’—highly condensed, provocative statements meant to generate controversy and insight. Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone.

Aarseth born in Bergen, Norway is a figure in the fields of video game studies and electronic literature. For example, with a book like Raymond Queneau ‘s Hundred Thousand Billion Poemseach reader will encounter not just poems arranged in a different order, but different poems depending on the precise way in which they turn the sections of page. It highlights the ways in which the perceived divide between the intentional object of the text and the mental event of the reading is unavoidably impacted by contextual events such as editing, translation, marketing, and criticism—this is just as true for traditional, non-ergodic texts.


As the examples provided by Aarseth demonstrate, a cybertext can be paper- or computer-based, codex or software: Problems in Computer Semiotics 24Textuality. Cybertexts may be equated to the transition between a linear piece of literature, such as a noveland a game.

Aarseth simply wants to reunite the two forms in order to study them using the same theoretical framework. In order to obtain the message work on the part of the user is required.

Aarseth Snippet view – Notably, those characteristics—the constructive role of both the medium and the reader in the reading experience—are not limited to electronic or digital platforms, although this technology has greatly expanded the range of possible written expression. Instead of insisting on the uniqueness and newness of electronic writing and cybertest fiction, however, Aarseth situates these literary forms within the tradition of “ergodic” literature—a term borrowed from physics to describe open, cybertextt texts such as the I Ching or Apollinaire’s calligrams, with which the reader must perform specific actions to generate a literary sequence.

He also outlines the different categories and varieties of nonlinear texts. He identifies nonlinear texts as objects of verbal communication in which the words or sequence of words may differ from reading to reading. So in the end, you do not really finish reading the entire story or ‘novel’ you go through random pages and try piecing the story together yourself. There are two challenges in the process of expanding traditional literary studies to make room for cybertexts and ergodic literature: The resistance of traditional literary scholars to the inclusion of cybertexts in their field of study typically takes three conflicting forms: Cybernetics is the science that studies control and regulation in systems in which there exists flow and feedback of information.


Mark Poster Limited preview – Aarseth defined it as aarseht type of ergodic literature. He identifies two characteristics of these texts that he returns to repeatedly in this opening chapter: Problems of Automated Poetics. This is a cybertext with minimal control.

Article on Stir Fry Texts retrieved from: Is it necessary to define a new aesthetics of cyborg textuality?

The book introduces the concept of ergodic literaturewhich is a text that requires aardeth effort to be traversed.

The article discusses the concept behind nonlinear texts, stepping away from the category of hypertext and delving into different types of media which can also be considered nonlinear. The image of the labyrinth is a potent one for Aarseth and helps to illustrate the conflation of these different textualities.

My library Help Advanced Book Search. The difference between a game and a cybertext aaraeth that cybertexts usually have more depth, there is a method to the madness, the piece usually has a point, or message that is translated to the reader as they work their way through the piece.

Applied Theory at York University, Canada. This page was last edited on 6 Septemberat Alternative textual structures explicated as literature. The book also contains a well-known pre-ludological theory, “typology of cybertext” which allows ergodic texts to be classified by their functional qualities.